Germany’s far-right AfD picks duo as top candidates

Germany heads to the polls in September for national elections – the first in 16 years that will NOT feature the current chancellor, Angela Merkel. The far-right AFD has now decided who will lead it into the election – and the result represents a victory for its radical wing. The leading candidates for the AfD will be Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla. An online poll of members of the far-right Alternative for Germany party gave over two-thirds of the vote to what many consider a hardline duo. Alice Weidel, leader of the party’s parliamentary group, has been a prominent figure for years. She’s close to the so-called “wing” – an extremist group within the AfD, now formally disbanded. Weidel is known for her hard-hitting statements, reducing migrants to, quote, “girls in headscarves” and “knife-wielding men on government benefits.” Tino Chrupalla represents the AfD groups in Germany’s eastern states, where the party is strong. He became co-chair in 2019. Since then, parts of the AfD have been placed under watch by intelligence services, including its youth division.